People shouting "Kill Obama!" at McCain/Palin rallies: where's the Secret Service?

Historically, the Secret Service takes a very dim view on those threatening to kill presidential candidates, as well as the standing President. So, considering all the people shouting “Kill Obama!”, “Off with his head!”, and so on at recent McCain rallies, why is there no Secret Service response? I have a feeling that if people shouted “Death to McCain!” and the like at Obama rallies, those folks would have had their faces captured through the telephoto lenses of some very expensive taxpayer-funded cameras, followed a few hours later by men in black suits showing up at their doorsteps to haul them off for interrogation.

I wouldn’t be surprised if people are shouting this – I see so much venom coming from both sides of the contest, but the right wing guys always talk/joke about killing the people they don’t like (see: Ann Coulter et. al.).

I’m with you that it’s disgusting and something should be done – something on the order of holding them without trial in Guantanamo Bay for five years, like we do with other advocates of killing Americans. If it’s happening.

But, before we get all het up about what the Secret Service is going to do about it, can we have some kind of factual citation that it’s actually taking place?


Here’s an AP report that says the Secret Service has looked into it, couldn’t verify that “kill him” was what was said, and also mentions other instances of similar shouts.

Also, to add to the mix -

SacramentoGOP Website urges people to “waterboard Obama”
"Joke"about killing Obama circulated by Republican fundraiser in FL

I don’t know what the Secret Service is doing about these situations.

I always heard that joke being about GWB.

From the Scranton Times-Tribune:

I never heard it before, but it sounds like a cheap knockoff of what Disraeli said about the difference between “misfortune” and “calamity” (“If Mr. Gladstone fell into the Thames, that would be a misfortune; if somebody pulled him out again, that would be a calamity”).

Is it also possible there IS an investigation going on, and they’re keeping it on the down-low, for security purposes?

I’ll also note that TPM, citing the AP (with no further specifics), is reporting that the Secret Service hasn’t found any verification of the claims of a “kill him” shout in Florida (not the Scranton, PA claim mentioned in my last post):

Thanks for the clarification, everybody.

What about the agents AT the rallies. I realize their main purpose is to protect the politician speaking from physical threats, but surely theres some action an agent who overhears someone shout “Kill him” should be taking, even if the chances of tracking done who said it are pretty slim.

I was just about to say: It’s a secret. Secret Service - I don’t doubt the SS doesn’t give information.

I doubt it. A very public investigation would be the best way to prevent people from screaming death threats. (assuming that there actually have been such threats, with cameras to prove it)

Like the way airport security treats somebody who jokes about having a bomb in his suitcase. Make an example out of the poor guy, and everybody else shuts up.

According to WP’s Dana Milbank, they are too busy trying to protect those very folks in the crowd (and the candidate?) from those ever so dangerous reporters.

If you follow the link through to the WaPost’s page, the quote is about two-thirds of the way down.

Have you ever been able make out what anyone was saying one section over at a baseball game? I mean yeah, this’d be nice, but those rallies are loud and those guys can’t be everywhere. Plus, I’d imagine I’d look around for trim haircuts and black shades in my immediate area if I were to yell something like that.

They think the whole thing is made up too:


Let me just say that this is an even-handed thing. I and five of my reporters attended a Biden rally Tuesday night here in Marietta. When two of my kids went off to interview some protestors who were at the edge of the rally (not inside the security zone) they were told they weren’t permitted to do so by security for reasons of ‘crowd control’.

Where does it say that?

There’s a difference between kids wandering around and attendees with press credentials.

Ah, allow me to clarify.

The two ‘kids’ to which I refer are 29 and 26, respectively, and both had full access media badges. They were prevented from speaking to the protesters by security for, as I said, crowd control.

Forgive my vernacular. But they do seem to be kids to me from my Olympian 40s.